It does not matter which industry one works in; an employee has the right to work in an environment that is safe. Although employees have their own responsibilities when it comes to reporting unsafe conditions, employers have the ultimate responsibility of providing a safe workplace.
If an employee suffers an injury due to an unsafe condition, he or she can take steps to receive compensation for medical care and lost income.
Responsibilities of employers
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration discusses the number of responsibilities an employer has to provide and maintain a safe environment. An employer must follow OSHA standards when ensuring the work area is free of hazards. Some of the responsibilities an employer has include:
- Providing safe equipment and tools as well as adequate training to operate them
- Establishing operating procedures
- Providing signs, labels and other means to warn employees about potential risks
- Repairing, removing or replacing hazards
- Avoiding retaliation against employees that report hazards in the workplace
Steps an employee can take if injured on the job
According to the Texas Department of Insurance, workers’ compensation insurance is one option for some injured employees. To use workers’ compensation, the injured worker must report the injury as soon as possible to a manager or supervisor and file a claim within a certain period of time. If the insurance company approves the claim, the coverage pays for medical expenses and missed wages related to the injury.
Workers’ compensation is not an option for all employees, as Texas companies can opt not to carry the insurance. In those instances, a worker may be able to take legal action against the employer for expenses related to the injury.